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Archive for the ‘Web/Tech’ Category

Leopard Upgrade Sharks

Posted by Ed on November 27, 2007

Decided to upgrade my OS X install to Leopard today as I’d heard lots of good things about it. It all went fine and installed in a little over an hour. At the start of the install I was asked to choose a file system: case-insensitive or case-sensitive, both journaled. I chose the latter. Why wouldn’t I? I’ve been using case-sensitive Linux for years and I couldn’t see any reason not to. Obviously ‘Files’ and ‘files’ are different.

Then I tried to reinstall my apps. Most of them were fine, until I got to Adobe Photoshop. Tried to run it, “File system not supported”. What? A bit of Googling led to this:

You cannot install Adobe Creative Suite 3 to a volume that uses a case-sensitive file system, such as HSFX or UFS. Adobe Creative Suite 3 installation is supported on volumes using HFSJ or HFS+ file systems.

Stupid bastards! So now I have the choice of reformatting my disk and reinstalling my OS, or not using Adobe CS products. How hard can it be to tell the difference between Photoshop and photoshop? My Epson scanner software doesn’t work either.

Extremely pissed off.

[xkcd sharks cartoon]


Posted in Web/Tech | 2 Comments »

Pandora and the Music Genome

Posted by Ed on March 17, 2006

Recently, Charl got me hooked on the music and social networking site Last.fm, which plays music based on what people with similar tastes to you (your musical neighbours) have also played. Now Juan has introduced me to Pandora, and I’m hooked again! Pandora plays music similar to songs or artists you tell it you like, drawing its data from the Music Genome Project:

We ended up assembling literally hundreds of musical attributes or “genes” into a very large Music Genome. Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song – everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony.

The key difference betwee the sites is that Last.fm uses people’s tastes to assign to make suggestions, whereas Pandora uses only the qualities of the music taken from their analyses. For example, in Pandora, if you type in Steel Pulse, you hear:

music which features a reggae feel, acoustic rhythm piano, mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation, extensive vamping and minor key tonality.

You can listen to music similar to Steel Pulse at Pandora by clicking on this link: Steel Pulse Radio.

Both sites are extremely cool and have introduced me to things I would not otherwise have heard. They also give you personalised internet radio wherever you go!

Posted in Music, Web/Tech | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Ed on February 10, 2006

A big thanks to Charl for pointing out the fabulous last.fm music/social networking site. Just install the plugin for your favourite music player, and it automatically tracks what you play and puts you in touch with similar music. Seriously, have a look. It’s the dog’s bollocks. Here’s my profile.

Posted in Music, Web/Tech | 2 Comments »

International Shoulder Group

Posted by Ed on July 2, 2005

A few weeks ago our new site for the ISG went live. I decided to use Drupal because I’d heard good things about it, and it has to be said it was fairly easy to set up. The only issue I’ve had is with page caching. With caching turned on, the browser always used the cached page, even when it shouldn’t have. For example, if I logged in and refreshed the home page, it still brought up the un-logged-in home page. So for the moment, caching is turned off. Anyone got any ideas?

Anyway, while there aren’t many users, this doesn’t really matter. But as the site gets busier (which I hope it will), performance may start to suffer. Without caching, it means a database query for every page request. So far, a number of people I don’t know have registered, and even started forum topics, which is good.

You can also reach it via http://internationalshouldergroup.org.

Posted in Science, Web/Tech | Leave a Comment »

Tiger, Safari and X11

Posted by Ed on June 19, 2005

So I finally upgraded my OSX to 10.4, or Tiger, thanks to the Case site license. There are quite a few improvements and some very nice features. The first thing I noticed is that the whole thing feels a lot snappier than Panther did, and that alone makes it worth the upgrade. One word of caution though: X11 is not included in the default install, which I didn’t realise. When I remounted the net-install disk after doing the installation, I couldn’t modify it. So someone at the Case ITS is going to send me a stand-alone X11User package. I couldn’t find it for download anywhere on the Apple site.

The most useful new feature is Spotlight, which indexes your entire drive and lets you find more or less anything in a flash. I’ve only been using it for a couple of days, but it seems very nice. Having said that, I was using Quicksilver on Panther, and Spotlight is not yet as good as that. Quicksilver is very highly recommended if you’re still on Panther.

Another big improvement is Safari 2, and in particular its RSS capabilities. To bring the functionality up to Firefox levels though, you will have to install a couple of other apps and plugins. The first of these is delicious2safari, which will import your delicious bookmarks into Safari (not quite as nice as foxylicious though). Secondly, fiwt will give you type-ahead-find.

Finally, the new Dashboard is very cool, but the number of truly useful widgets is quite limited. There are a lot of widgets which look great but are either not useful to me, or are better suited to full apps.

Posted in Web/Tech | 1 Comment »


Posted by Ed on March 24, 2005

OK, that was far too much like hard work. Instead, I installed something that was made for the job: Pixelpost. Seems excellent so far; have a look here. What I was trying to avoid before was duplicating content that was or will be in my gallery, but it didn’t really work. Oh well, I’ll see how it goes.

The picture in the previous post was Hollands Spoor station in The Hague, in case you were wondering.

Posted in Photography, Web/Tech | Leave a Comment »

Photoblog test

Posted by Ed on March 22, 2005

I’m trying to set up a separate category for Photoblog entries. So far I’ve got it to:

  • use a different template without the sidebar;
  • resize the image to fit (it’s seems to be doing this automatically although I’m not sure why).

What I need to do now is:

  • get it to not post this entry on the front page (maybe);
  • only link to previous and next entries in the same category;
  • install the Gallery plugin so that I can easily link to my gallery;
  • change the options so that we only have one entry per page.

I’ll let you know how it’s done when I work it out!

Posted in Photography, Web/Tech | Leave a Comment »

WordPress as CMS

Posted by Ed on February 22, 2005

Having convinced Charl that a wiki as a website was a Good Thing, I’ve decided to try something else. The new WordPress version I’ve just installed has a new Pages feature which allows me to create static pages outside of the blog content. So that’s what I’ve done. It took me about half an hour to move the content over from the wiki, and that’s more or less it. The only thing I can’t resolve (and this has always been a problem) is why it can’t find the database when I remove the www from the URL (every instance I can find in the config). I’ll get back to you on that one.

Posted in Web/Tech | 2 Comments »

All change again…

Posted by Ed on June 1, 2004

For a while now I’ve been thinking about ditching Typepad in favour of some other system, for a number of reasons. First and foremost was the lack of flexibility of the photo albums in Typepad, and in particular the lack of nested albums. Second, I like hacking and have been itching to try out new things like Gallery. Finally, the amount of storage you get there is a lot less than you get just paying for hosting without the software tools, and their servers have been less than lighting fast of late.

So last week I took the plunge and bought some space at ANHosting (following the mass exodus of people I (don’t really) know), got myself a domain, and built a new gallery and weblog. I now have five times the amount of storage for less money, and hopefully a name that will last.

So, Charl, I would be most obliged if you could update your aggregator with this feed. The Typepad site will be up for a little while yet, at least until I update all the links and move all the images that are still stored there. If anybody has any suggestions as to how to do this efficiently, I’d love to hear them.

Posted in General, Photography, Web/Tech | 2 Comments »

Using Mandrake 10.0

Posted by Ed on June 1, 2004

The other day Charl asked me what I thought of Mandrake 10.0, now that I’ve been using it for a few weeks. The truth is, there isn’t all that much to say. Apart from the upgrade glitches mentioned in the previous post, for the most part it Just Works. It’s fast, stable, looks nice and has all the apps you want. I am or have been running Apache 2 with PHP 4.3 and MySQL as well as the usual Mozilla Firefox (0.8) and Thunderbird (0.5), OpenOffice (1.1), Samba (3), Gimp (2) and gcc-3.3.2. All installed with the excellent urpmi tool. And the printer installed itself and CDs automount.

The best feature is the Mandrake Control Panel, which lets you do more or less anything without getting your hands dirty at the command line. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the time I like to get my hands dirty, but sometimes you just can’t be arsed and then a ‘yes, please do mount my samba share now’-button is great.

One or two problems I should mention. Occasionally Firefox goes off on one and takes X with it, taking the processor up to ~80% usage. Restart Firefox and it’s fine again. Istalled xine, doesn’t work. That’s about it, really.

Posted in Web/Tech | 1 Comment »